Jordan new school term delayed as Covid-19 spreads

Winter break to be extended by almost three weeks, government spokesman says

Members of the medical staff work at a new section specialised in receiving any person who may have been infected with coronavirus, at the Al-Bashir Governmental Hospital in Amman, Jordan January 28, 2020.REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Jordanian authorities on Wednesday delayed the resumption of schools, citing an acceleration of coronavirus infections in the country.

Government spokesman Faisal Shboul said the winter break for 2.2 million pupils would be extended by almost three weeks.

He said the postponement aims to “break the severity of the pandemic, which is accelerating”.

The Education Ministry had announced the same decision on Sunday, before backing down without giving a reason. It was not the first time that parts of the government made pandemic-related decisions then were overruled or rescinded.

The break, which started on December 23, had been due to end on February 1. It will now end on February 20.

Health officials say Jordan has entered a “fourth wave” of the pandemic, largely because of the Omicron variant.

About 4.1 million people out of the country’s 10.7 million population have been vaccinated, official data shows. Almost none of those vaccinated are below 18 years of age.

The authorities say they will offer vaccination to minors next month.

Official data showed that 14 people died of Covid-19 in Jordan in the past 24 hours, bringing total deaths from the pandemic in the country to 13,028.

Of the 40,000 people who took PCR tests in the past 24 hours, 15 per cent tested positive.

More than 1.1 million people have been counted as having contracted the coronavirus in the kingdom.

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Updated: January 19, 2022, 6:24 PM